General Liability Insurance is an excellent form of protection against any claims of property damage or bodily injury that may occur. These days, people generally seem to be more litigious than ever before, and quickly jump to legal action. This can be quite troubling, whether or not their reasons are valid. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will look at types of claims, how to file a claim, and other common questions. Read on to get the details.
What are the Different Types of General Liability Claims?
Many common general liability claims can arise during just a normal day at work. Here are the most common types of claims you could potentially deal with:
- Property Damage Lawsuit: One example of this could be with a mobile catering service. At a wedding, one of the heating methods or tools could cause a fire, damaging the structure behind it. The venue could sue your entity for potential damages. In that case, your general liability insurance policy would help greatly with this.
- Slip and Fall Occurrence: If you were, say, a mortgage lender, you could have a customer slip and fall after you just got done mopping the floor. They may suffer an injury and need surgery. They could sue you for medical costs, which your general liability coverage would assist with.
- Product Liability Issue: Say your business provides aquarium gear. If, after a customer sets up their aquarium with one (or more) of your products, their fish die, then the customer could try to sue your business. Your product liability coverage would come into play here. It could be questioned whether it was your products, or the owner’s handling that caused the fatality.
- Customer Injury Lawsuit: If you were running a business such as an art gallery, you may have an extension cord running to lights or computerized props. If a customer trips over the cords and needs treatment for an injury, they could sue you for costs. This kind of claim and lawsuit could be taken care of with general liability coverage as well.
How do I file a General Liability Claim?
Here are the steps that work to assure that your claim is processed accurately:
- Contact Your Agent as Soon as Possible: As soon as you find out that there has been an incident at your place of business, it’s best to contact your carrier as soon as you can. Even the slightest hesitation can make for a delay in processing your claim, and these events are best dealt with quickly.
- Have the Most Important Details Ready: We’ll need to know some basic information about your general liability policy and your business. Now is the most opportune time to ask us about the details of the process, to see what else may be needed, and to see how long the process will take. Your policy number, name, and business name are a few of the most important details.
- Have Plenty of Documentation: Take notes about everything, starting from your very first contact with the party proceeding with a claim or legal action. You should keep a record of any messages or correspondence. Every time you talk with your insurance provider, it is smart to log all your answers and timelines in a word document or spreadsheet so that you can quickly locate them later if needed.
- Put Together Your Strategy for Resolution: If your claim eventually becomes a full-fledged lawsuit, it is best to have a strategy for solving things and/or settling the case. Arguing for a dismissal is a good strategy, as some judges tend to understand society’s frivolous nature. If you go to court for a trial, it is during this process that your documentation will help greatly. Some individuals who have a history of going after companies may make a bad reputation for themselves, allowing the trial to perhaps lean in your favor.
Any incident that may cause someone to jeopardize your livelihood could change the entire course of your business. From court cases to settlements and other mishaps, our experienced specialists here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles can offer a plan for preparedness in the event of an accident on your property.